I should have mentioned, I've looked at JoAnne's, Michaels, Wal-mart, & Hobby Lobby. They do have purse handles, but I agree, they just don't exude "quality." If you look at the Margaret Nicole bangle bags, they use a flat wooden handle that's quite different from the standard ones at the craft stores. The ones at ejoyce and mjtrim look veeeeery similar...
I didn't find the handles at first when I looked at Webs (I'm sure it's just me, but I have a hard time navigating their site): the D shaped one is similar and might make a nice variation on the round shape. For the straight handled purses, I already have some dowel of the right diameter, just need to cut to size, shape the ends, and stain.
As for the pattern, well, I learned it at a class and hesitate to hand out the class notes after the instructor worked hard to come up with a pattern of her own, but there are similar patterns here: http://www.yarniverse.com/page.htm?PG=FreePatterns
(scroll down to the cable purse pattern) and http://www.geocities.com/bugster74/c...chpattern.html
. We re-did the cables in our class to make ours look a bit different. Thanks everyone for the input!